The Guvner

Utah has incredible creative and technological talent - but it seems like that's a secret - almost like the great quality of life offered here.  UDEN is important because it is helping build a community of all the great digital entertainment niches we have - and it needs our support in as many ways as we can give.  Together we can grow what is already here, ensuring careers  and prosperity right in the place we choose to live

Jon Dean

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Jon Dean's activity stream



  • Utah VR/AR : digital Hollywood?

    The case for our community to focus on AR and VR technologies for economic success.

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  • UDEN #12 - Sundance

    UDEN's first meeting of 2017 was held during the Sundance Film Festival on January 25th.  We were graciously hosted by our terrific partners the Utah Film Commission at their event space in Park City, UT.  

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  • UDEN #11 - Financing a Creative Business

    A panel discussion that addressed: 

    • Lessons learned from startup accelerators like Tech Stars and Boom Startup;
    • What VC’s are really looking for and their specific issues with funding digital entertainment innovations;
    • Tips and advice for tapping into a range of resources including angel investors, venture debt, venture capital and strategic partnerships;
    • How to present a compelling pitch;
    • Resources in Utah that can help.

    Read the full blog here: http://www.guv1.com/jonblogs/uden11


  • UDEN #Startup Meeting Recap

    A business incubator was the ideal setting for this special UDEN meeting, which was held primarily to help the Salt Lake Disney/Avalanche employees whose studio will be closing next month.  While we know them to be highly talented individuals who will have options in what they do next, we thought that perhaps some of them might use this opportunity to start something of their own.  With that in mind, we want them to be as prepared as they can be. But our Disney friends weren't the only ones we had in mind: we opened the meeting to anyone interested in starting up on their own.  Around 110 people attended, and by show of hands, more than half said they were interested in starting up  or joining with others who wanted to startup.  5 people showed their hands when asked if only along for the food :-)

    Read my full account of the meeting - including pix! -  here: http://www.guv1.com/jonblogs/2016/6/10/uden-startup-meeting

     

    Please feel free to add your comments on the meeting in the comments below, as well as any details you found helpful that I may have missed in my summarizing.


  • UDEN #10 - Meeting Recap - Prof. Roger Altizer

     UDEN's 10th membership meeting kicked off at the incredible surrounding of Utah's Natural History Museum.  

     

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  • Hey everyone! The site is back up and live again today. Sorry we were down for a short while in the last 24 hours but we were spammed and had to reset everything.

    - if you find something is NOT WORKING please get in contact! I might have missed something

    - If somehow we inadvertently REMOVED YOUR ACCOUNT in the process please email us at info@utahden.org and we will get you reinstated.

    Welcome back!

    Big thanks to NationBuilder for their speedy help.

  • UDEN #9 - Meeting Recap, YouTube Panel

    I'm going to try and get around to adding a recap of all of our membership meetings over these past 12 months... but don't hold your breath (sorry!).  

    Here is a recap of our last meeting - feel free to add any additional notes that you took away in the comments!

    Its at my website as I haven'y yet figured out how to add a photo gallery here! http://www.guv1.com/jonblogs/2016/3/12/uden- 

    Also remember that we have our own YT channel that has a bunch of the prior meetings on there - we'll get the last couple added as soon as we have some time to finish the edits!  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-XWK4K26AcqLclt458E9xw


  • Programmer Intern - ChAIR Entertainment

    Epic Games is searching for a Programmer Intern to work with our Engineering team at the incredible ChAIR studio in Utah. You'll work directly with the brightest technical minds in the business on anything from bug fixing to hooking up services and analytics into our games. This internship will keep you investigating, building, and fixing code that directly impacts game performance.

     

    The ideal candidate will have a mix of the qualifications below:

    • Strong C++ knowledge

    • Strong Java experience

    • Experience with the problems involved in making a client/server-based game

    • Work/code samples from at least one project (indie, academic, hobby project, etc.) 

    • Exceptional communication skills and experience working within a team

    • Familiarity with Unreal Engine 4

    If you’re a data-driven programmer who loves problem solving across the stack, then we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your resume and examples of your work, and we’ll be in touch soon.

    Apply here.

    This is going to be Epic!


  • Systems Designer - ChAIR Entertainment

    For many, the word “Epic” is synonymous with grand, glorious, heroic, regal, magnificent or monumental. At Epic Games, we think of “Epic” as the collective effort of smart, talented, passionate people choosing to build the highest quality experiences possible for those who play our games and use our technology. The words “good enough” are not spoken here. That dedication has allowed us to remain an industry leader, take risks, be creative, and carve our own path forward.

    ChAIR, an Epic Games studio, is looking for a Systems Designer to join our team currently working on SpyJinx ( www.spyjinx.com ). In this role you will have a hand in creating systems such as skills systems, class design, combat systems, and building systems. You will be responsible for the general balance, rules, interface, etc. of these systems and will play an integral role in defining the outcome of the project.

    The person in this role will be responsible for:

    • Own complex game system(s) and shepherd them through the process including skills, class design, combat, and building systems
    • Responsible for general design, balance, rules, interface, etc.
    • Play an integral role in designing the outcome of the project
    • Integrate on a complete game system and know when it’s time to take out of pre-production into production and polish
    • Use few resources to be a self-starter that can deliver results that are scaled to the resource pool

    The ideal candidate will have a mix of the qualifications below:

    • Passion for games and systems design
    • Ability to work well within a highly collaborative team environment
    • Strong desire to work with the biggest data sets possible
    • Excellent math and analytical skills
    • 5+ years in a design role, preferably systems design
    • Demonstrated experience with advancement, itemization, and progression based systems
    • Experience developing best practices on building scalable and maintainable systems while being comfortable educating others as to their value

    If you’d like to be part of building a exciting new game we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your resume with a portfolio and we’ll be in touch soon. Apply here.

    This is going to be Epic!

     


  • Product Marketing Manager

    ChAIR Entertainment (a wholly owned subsidiary of Epic Games), located in Salt Lake City UT, is an award-winning creator of games for console, PC, and mobile. The team is looking for a Product Marketing Manager to work on ChAIR’s newly announced Spyjinx (www.spyjinx.com) project being developed in collaboration with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot, as well as blockbuster franchises like Shadow Complex and the Infinity Blade Trilogy. The person in this role will be a key member of the team, working with studio and brand leadership to develop creative go-to-market campaigns and digital marketing plans for mobile, PC, and console products. This person will be a member of the global Epic Games Marketing team and will be embedded at ChAIR’s studio in Utah.   

    The person in this role will be responsible for the following:

    • Developing and executing marketing plans that include both traditional and new digital marketing strategies from conception to launch

    • Maximizing the game's presence and effectiveness of digital marketplaces, including price and promotion management, working closely with and strengthening marketplace relationships

    • Defining the user acquisition strategy for multiple soft and global launches with a focus on player acquisition, engagement, reacquisition and monetization

    • Collaborating with brand management, artists and external agencies to coordinate the design of high performing ad creatives and social media content

    • Analyze effectiveness of campaigns and optimize accordingly, reporting of sales data and advertising performance to the publishing team and senior management

    • Working closely with brand and community managers to identify and execute distinct community building and maintenance activities and strategies to provide a solid and healthy community base

    The ideal candidate will have a mix of the qualifications below:

    • Proven experience in a digital product marketing role across multiple PC, console or mobile campaigns with some experience in a F2P environment

    • Appropriate experience in planning, creating and delivering digital marketing campaigns across various mediums including TV, digital ads, and events

    • Excellent analytical skills with a strong attention to detail

    • The ability to analyze data and extract key insights in order to inform decisions, and be able to share key learnings from various projects

    • Experience working across the vast social media landscape, working with key influencers, have a strong understanding of how to build those channels and the types of content needed to do so

    • Have a passion for and understanding of games and the game industry, across PC, console and mobile platforms

    If you’d like to be part of an established team with a track record of success to bring a new IP to market we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your resume and we’ll be in touch soon.

    APPLY ON OUR WEBSITE HERE: https://epicgames.avature.net/careers/JobDetail/Salt-Lake-City-Utah-Product-Marketing-Manager-ChAIR/2181 


  • Mobile Marketing Manager

    We are Swedish entertainment company that opened an office in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the beginning of this year.  The creation of Assorted Nuts Gameshttp://www.assortednutsgames.com is an exciting new chapter in the development of our company, from which we will be developing and publishing videogames for mobile smartphones & tablets.  Our first title is "Hello Kitty World of Friends" based on the hugely successful and popular Hello Kitty franchise, which is available now for your Android or Apple device.  This is a great opportunity to join our passionate team that enjoys collaboration, problem solving and driving business results. 

    JOB BRIEF:

    We are looking for a highly motivated candidate that is excited to work in an innovative, challenging and growing industry and who wants to take their career to the next level.  Ideally you are a self-starter, experienced in mobile digital marketing including the design and implementation of marketing initiatives, promotions and campaigns across multiple marketing channels, who can demonstrate ROI for these online marketing activities. 

    Duties:

    Responsibilities will include:

    • Propose, develop and execute digital marketing objectives for our game products with the goal of increasing downloads and product awareness;
    • Day-to-day management of the agreed online marketing programs, including budgeting, forecasting and reporting, maintenance of marketing calendar;
    • Collaborate with the live operations team:
    • on new game features that could help integrate future marketing campaigns, partner promotions, customer service and player community engagement;
    • to ensure marketing needs are delivered and optimized;
    • Measure, monitor, analyze and refine campaigns to drive performance against agreed KPIs;
    • Manage SEO and social strategies for existing and new games;
    • Identify opportunities for campaigns and distribution channels that will lead to an increase in downloads, including global partner collaborations;
    • Work closely with partners to drive promotional strategy and featuring opportunities, including app stores and our licensors;
    • Deliver results!

     

    Experience

    The successful candidate will:

    • Be a highly personable, driven marketer with strong marketing experience in gaming, social media, ecommerce or digital products;
    • Hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Communications or related discipline.  MBA preferred;
    • 2+ years of relevant experience in mobile game product marketing, consumer brand marketing or similar roles;
    • Creative thinker with outstanding verbal, written and execution skills;
    • Excel at on-your-feet problem solving;
    • Passionate player of mobile games!  Love of Hello Kitty a plus!
    • Have the ability to build relationships, manage stakeholders, and articulate a creative vision/direction;
    • Have experience in defining and evaluating ROI of digital marketing initiatives;
    • Demonstrate a track record of spearheading and executing innovative marketing programs that generate results;
    • Strong artistic and design sensibilities preferred;
    • Capable of working in a fast-paced startup environment and managing a multitude of projects;
    • Some experience working with technical teams (such a game developers) a plus!

     

    Package:

    This is a full-time position, some occasional travel required.  A salary commensurate with experience is offered, as well as benefits.  Promotion is a real possibility for the right person in this fast-moving company!

    Please send your current resume along with an email explaining why this is the role for you, to support@assortednutsgames.com


  • UDEN - 1 Year On

    It's hard to believe that the foundations for today's UDEN were sown one year ago!  On January 15th 2015, Drew Clark held the first Utah Breakfast Club meeting at the State Capital at the crazy hour of 7am!  A distinguished panel was set to speak that included:

    • Virginia Pearce, Director, Utah Film Commission

    • Clark Stacey, CEO, Wildworks

    • Marshall N. Wright, Director, Business Development, Governor's Office of Economic Development

    • Craig Caldwell, USTAR Senior Research Professor, Digital Media Cluster; and Arts Director, Engineering Arts and Entertainment, University of Utah

    • Drew Clark, Moderator, Founder, Utah Breakfast Club; Of Counsel, Kirton McConkie

    ...as well as myself.  The theme for panel discussion was:

    "Well-known as a high-tech haven, Utah also has a supporting role in independent film production, which is showcased each January at the Sundance Film Festival. Less well-publicized is the key role that Salt Lake City has played in computer graphics and digital animation, helping to build a digital entertainment nexus on the Wasatch Front. This panel discussion will assemble key leaders in film and video entertainment to explore questions about Utah’s accomplishments and its promise, about incentives for production, about cultivating talent and about the state’s branding. What do these important industries need to take the next step?"

    Highlights from that meeting here: http://www.utahbreakfast.com/news/2015/1/16/the-video-of-the-utah-breakfast-club-on-hollywood-on-the-wasatch-front

    The meeting was very well attended by those involved with digital media in the State of Utah (despite the freezing temps and early hour!) and a lively panel discussion ensued with some great and pointed questions being asked.  A few familiar themes emerged, which I'll paraphrase, including "Why isn't the State doing more to promote digital media?" and "There is no industry voice to represent the varied needs of this sector".  So I asked the room who would join an industry group, and what should it do?  Most of the participants were from the entertainment sectors of digital media, especially film and gaming.  Virginia posed the interesting idea of a group much like "Made in New York", a successful trade group representing the entertainment sectors of that State.  So I offered to start such a group here in Utah if everyone in the room would support it.

    Made in Utah was born!  

    First up was a Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/MIUMadeInUtah which was created that very same day (visit to see how we started!).

    Then I formed a committee - many of the panel members became committee members and most of them still serve one year later.

    We held our first meeting in March which was very well attended.  Soon afterwards the collective decided we needed a better name, not least because 'Made in Utah' is also used to promote other sectors in the State, not least cheese!  Hence we transitioned to become the Utah Digital Entertainment Network.

    Full meeting video here: http://www.utahbreakfast.com/news/2015/1/19/video-of-the-premiere-utah-breakfast-club-event-hollywood-on-the-wasatch-front

    Happy birthday UDEN - and thank you to everyone that has and who continue to support this fledgling effort at becoming a community, the voice called out for at that Breakfast Club meeting!


  • INTERN - DESERET NEWS

    The News Division of the Deseret News is looking for talented seasonal student intern reporters for the 2016 summer semester. The internship offers students a distinctive journalism experience unlike any other. The News Division is a unique newsroom where TV, radio, print and web reporters work together in an environment that provides news content for five different media platforms. This internship for college students focuses on daily Utah news stories, projects and features for Deseret News, DeseretNews.com and KSL.com with occasional opportunities available for broadcast reporting. The four-month internship is a full-time paid position.

    In order to be considered for this internship, you must include with your application a 1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) published writing samples (cannot be class papers). You may attach as many documents as you'd like to the online application. (Documents should be uploaded in the same section of the online application as your resume and cover letter.
    Students must have a car and are reimbursed for mileage. The internship provides invaluable experience for journalism and communications students.

    Skills necessary; Writing that is engaging, thoughtful, informative and rigorous; Ability to work independently and be a self-starter; Training in journalism or other writing experience involving critical/analytical thinking; Knowledge of current events; Ability to take regular feedback and work with editors in a professional environment; Ability to write on deadline and take assignments on short notice; Commitment to Deseret Media Companies mission and values;http://deseretmanagement.com/mission-statement/

    Apply at https://Deseretnews.applicantpro.com/jobs/332115.html


  • So You Want To Be A Game Designer / Programmer / Artist etc?

    I'm frequently asked for the 'inside track' on how to break into the games industry.  Sometimes it's a parent whose teenage offspring wants to be a game designer and they want to know what to study; sometimes its a random person I meet at a party who loves (--insert name of mass market game here--) and thinks they could do better.  The following is a version of how I respond -- I hope you find it useful if you are pondering this also!

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  • GROUP Membership

    Join as a GROUP if you organize regular meetings in Utah relating to or in some way supporting digital entertainment. Whether as consumers, creators, students or otherwise allied, we would like to list your group here!

    Even if you have joined individually, please join as a group on this page.  Put your GROUP name as the LAST NAME on the form below, leave first name blank.

    Once joined, you can fill out your group BIO - please fill in as many details as you can - purpose, links etc - and remember to add your meetings on our Events page.

    Welcome to our community!

    Sign up

  • JOIN FOR FREE TODAY!  GET YOUR BIO LISTED!

    We have a lot of work to do... but there is a catch.  Without support, none of this matters.  Good people have tried something like this before and failed.

    • If YOU like what we’re planning to do here, YOU must help it happen.
    • UDEN isn’t the committee – we’re all willing volunteers.
    • Help us help you help us all

    We have established three membership types - all FREE:

    Creator- someone who is actively creating digital entertainment in Utah (both corporate and individual);

    Examples: game developer, script writer, film director, indie game studio, VFX artist, game designer, post-production company, film director, game producer etc

    Associate - someone who supports digital entertainment in Utah (both corporate and individual);

    Examples: providing goods or services - marketing, legal, financial, tools, technologies, investor, incubator, sponsors etc

    GROUP - an association or regular meeting of people who are involved with digital entertainment in Utah

    Examples: consumers, creators, students or other types of supporters of the industry that have a group purpose or mission - script writing associations, video game playing groups, film makers, mobile game maker associations etc - join here and keep help us direct new members to you!  Even if you joined as an individual, get your group listed in its own right

    • We need YOU to support our activities, HELP us by DOING something that gets us to these goals faster
    • BE A PART of this in whatever way you can
    • Come to our regular membership meetings and participate
    • Offer to help other members if they have needs you can supply
    • Volunteer to be on one of our committees – just a few hours a month
    • If you see one of our social media posts, please share them in your own networks – some of you are doing this – and it really makes a difference
    • If you can afford to sponsor one of our meetings at your location – please reach out to us
    • Help us compile the lists of companies and groups, dates of upcoming events etc
    • BE AN ADVOCATE for UDEN
    • If we’re truly a community, then we’ll do this together


  • If you create digital entertainment in Utah - sign up below!

    Company or individual, we'll be honored to have you join our community!

    Sign up